By Laura Amato
Charlie Neuweiler likes to be in control.
That’s why he likes being a pitcher. The Monsignor McClancy ace can dictate how a game goes on the mound, speed it up or slow it down, strike out opposing batters and give his squad a boost of confidence.
Neuweiler played a handful of positions for the Crusaders this season, but there was something about pitching that was different. It was the chance to influence the game in a way he couldn’t in the field and he relished every opportunity he got on the mound.
It’s that influence that led Neuweiler to be one of the most dominant arms in the entire CHSAA this spring and the TimesLedger’s Queens All-Area Player of the Year.
“I always want to make sure that other teams are doing what I want them to do,” Neuweiler said. “I want to have the control over them. I don’t want them to have control over me and I can do that when I’m on the mound.”
A multi-year standout for McClancy, Neuweiler knew he wasn’t going to sneak up on anyone this year.
Other teams gameplanned for him, determined to find a way to put bat on ball when he got the start. That, of course, was easier said than done.
Neuweiler finished 5-1 this season with two shutouts and one no-hitter. He boasted an incredible 0.89 ERA and racked up 102 strikeouts in 63 innings of work.
“When I’m on my game, I know I can kind of control how the other team is doing,” he said. “That pretty much sets the pace for them and then helps us set up what we want to do.”
Neuweiler was named to the CHSAA all-league first team and was also a finalist for the Ron Patnosh Most Valuable Player award.
However, Neuweiler didn’t really care about any of that. He simply wanted to help his team win games.
The Crusaders’ season ended earlier than Neuweiler or any of his teammates would have liked, falling just short of a championship game appearance, but it was difficult for the ace to be too disappointed.
“I think the team knew that it wasn’t going to be easy,” Neuweiler said. “There was no settling back from us. We just kept pushing, kept trying to push forward. That was the focus.”
As Neuweiler gets ready to start his senior year, his baseball future is already set. He committed to LIU-Brooklyn, where he’ll play college ball with his twin brother, Ryan, earlier this year.
He’s excited and anxious and more than ready for that next step, but first Neuweiler is determined to end his high school career on a high note.
“I’m very happy with the team this year, but we’ve just got to keep working harder,” he said. “It’s non-stop. I can’t wait to start building for next year.”
The building has already started this summer with a jam-packed schedule that will take Neuweiler all over the country, everywhere from Indiana to Cincinnati. It’s a heavy workload, but one Neuweiler is embracing.
After all, it’s easy to play when you’re in control of your game.
“You’ve just got to keep working hard, especially in the offseason,” he said. “Anything you can do to boost your game, you’ve got to do it. Give it one last good run and hopefully it works out for us.”